Trailer Maintenance Guide | Understanding the Different Types of Leaf Spring Suspension
Whether you use it, rent it to others for passive income, or both, a trailer is a big investment. When you own a trailer, you must take good care of it. The more you care for it, the longer your investment can last. It does not matter if it is a source of rental income or if you use it for your business. Getting more out of your trailer demands keeping up with its maintenance. An important part of maintaining your trailer is replacing worn-out parts on time. This trailer maintenance guide will cover a trailer component many owners overlook when handling maintenance tasks: The trailer’s leaf spring suspension.
By keeping up with routine maintenance, you can prolong your trailer’s life. While servicing the trailer makes it last longer, several components will eventually need replacements. Among those components are the trailer’s axle and suspension. Since a trailer transports heavy cargo, its axles, and suspension take a lot of punishment. While built to last, even the most well-maintained suspension will need a replacement. When that time comes, you must be ready to find the right replacement.
When shopping for replacement parts, you can always go for a like-for-like replacement. However, you can also look at it as a chance to upgrade your trailer and get more out of it. Granted, the suspension it came with works fine with the trailer. Still, you should know your options if you want to upgrade. This trailer maintenance guide will discuss the different suspension types you can use in your trailer. When you know more options, you can make a better decision while getting replacement parts for your trailer’s suspension.
Understanding the Different Trailer Leaf Spring Suspensions
When it comes to trailer suspensions, leaf springs are effectively the standard issue. Originating sometime around the mid-17th century, leaf springs were first used on horse-drawn carriages. While the one installed on your trailer is definitely more advanced than the earliest leaf spring suspensions, it follows the same basic principle.
Leaf springs are long, rectangular sheets of steel with an arch shape. The middle part of the arch connects with the trailer’s axle in the middle. When a trailer drives over bumps on the road, the steel leaf springs absorb the impact due to their arched shape.
Since they bend when you apply force and return to their regular shape as soon as you remove it, they are called leaf “springs” without having a spiral spring design. By slightly changing shape to absorb impact, leaf springs are very efficient at cushioning a trailer and keeping it stable.
This section of the trailer maintenance guide will tell you about the different variations in spring leaf designs you can install on a trailer.
What are Slipper Leaf Springs?
When it comes to the most common spring leaf suspension, slipper leaf springs take the top spot. Of all the variations, they have the simplest design. They consist of a stack of progressively shorter “leaves” fastened together. The progressively shorter leaves improve stability and help the suspension return to its normal shape after absorbing impact. Slipper leaf springs get their name due to the springtail they feature. While one end is fixed on a spot called the eye, the springtail rubs against a part called the slipper. When a trailer travels over bumps, the springtail rubs against a slipper, letting the leaf springs absorb the impact.
What are Double-Eye Leaf Springs?
With every spring leaf suspension variation, the basic principle is the same. As their name suggests, double-eye leaf springs have two fixed points called the eye instead of one. Unlike slipper leaf springs, these do not feature a slipper. Instead of a slipper, it relies on two connecting points to distribute the stress, minimizing the pressure on a trailer’s axles and chassis. While stiffer, double-eye leaf springs can support heavier weights than slipper leaf springs.
What are Parabolic Leaf Springs?
Of the three common variations, parabolic leaf springs have the most unique design. Typically featuring a single leaf, parabolic leaf springs are thicker in the middle and tapered toward both ends. When it comes to wear and tear in leaf springs, the friction between moving leaves causes the most damage. Due to their single-leaf design, parabolic leaf springs eliminate the need for several leaves. By using a thicker but tapered leaf, parabolic leaf springs tend to last longer. For heavy-duty applications, there are multi-leaf parabolic springs that include spacers between them to eliminate friction.
Earning Money Using Your Well-Maintained Trailer Rental
When inspecting your trailer, you might find one leaf spring more worn than the other. While replacing the faulty one alone might cost less, you should consider replacing both. By replacing both at the same time, you will perfectly balance your trailer. Remember, a well-balanced trailer is essential to towing safely.
Whether you choose a like-for-like replacement or upgrade with more expensive leaf springs, you will invest a lot in your trailer’s maintenance. Between routine maintenance and replacement parts, a trailer can be an expensive investment. If you do not use it daily, you can use your trailer to earn money for its maintenance. Businesses and individuals needing trailers but without the budget to buy one look for trailer rentals to save time and money. Since it offers them a cheaper alternative to buying one, trailer rentals are in high demand.
If you let others rent yours, you can help businesses and people in your community while making money. Depending on its type, make, size, and model, a trailer rental can earn anywhere between $100 and $200 per day. If you do not know where to look, finding and connecting with good renters is not easy. Fortunately, this trailer maintenance guide has that covered.
By joining Neighbors Trailer, you can find all the renters you need to turn your underutilized trailer into a passive income machine. Creating a listing for your trailer rental is free, and the platform generates over 1,100 leads for trailer rental bookings daily. After launching a new app for trailer owners, it has made the experience even easier.